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Trump Calls For $2,000 Payments To Americans As 14 Million Set To Lose Unemployment Benefits

Trump Calls For $2,000 Payments To Americans As 14 Million Set To Lose Unemployment Benefits

President Trump on Sunday called on Congress to “get rid of the pork” in a $1.4 trillion government funding bill just hours after he opted not to sign into law a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill.

The president has repeatedly called for stimulus checks to be boosted to $2,000 instead of the $600 granted in the relief bill, which passed both chambers of Congress on Tuesday by overwhelming majorities“Increase payments to the people, get rid of the ‘pork’,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday, retweeting his Tuesday video in which he ripped lawmakers.

On Saturday evening, Trump wrote: “$2000 + $2000 plus other family members. Not $600. Remember, it was China’s fault!”

In refusing to sign the bills, Trump caused some 14 million people to lose their unemployment benefits. And if he continues to leave the bill unsigned, a government shutdown will occur when funding runs out at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

But Trump said the COVID-19 relief bill is simply not enough.

“I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill,” Trump tweeted Saturday from Palm Beach, Florida. “Also, stop the billions of dollars in ‘pork.’”

Meanwhile, Democrat Joe Biden demanded Trump sign the bills immediately, accusing Trump of an “abdication of responsibility” that has “devastating consequences.”

“It is the day after Christmas, and millions of families don’t know if they’ll be able to make ends meet because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign an economic relief bill approved by Congress with an overwhelming and bipartisan majority,” Biden said in a statement.

House Republicans on Thursday blocked a bid by Democrats to pass Trump’s call for $2,000 direct payments to most Americans as part of the COVID-19 relief bill.

Democrats control the House and convened for a pro forma session on Thursday morning. The 12-minute session “morphed into unconvincing theater in response to Trump’s veto musings about the package, which was negotiated by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Trump’s behalf,” The Associated Press reported. “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat, sought the unanimous approval of all House members to pass the bill, but GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, who was not present in the nearly-empty chamber, denied his approval and the effort fizzled.”

In response to Hoyer, Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) tried to reopen debate on foreign aid included in a companion bill, but that also failed, due to Democrats blocking the effort.

The government will shut down on Tuesday if Trump doesn’t sign the bill or if Congress doesn’t approve a short-term funding measure. Hoyer said that a shutdown won’t happen.

“We’re not going to let the government shut down, nor are we going to let the American people down,” Hoyer said. “There are continuing discussions going on between the speaker, and the secretary of the Treasury, and the administration.”

Prior to the Thursday session, McCarthy slammed the Democrats, accusing them of “selective hearing” after Trump’s call for increasing the amount of the stimulus checks.

“Democrats appear to be suffering from selective hearing,” McCarthy tweeted Wednesday evening, along with an open letter. “They’ve conveniently ignored @realDonaldTrump’s call to reexamine tax dollars wasted overseas while so many Americans are struggling at home. Republicans will act to put America first.”.


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